Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Live Those Songs Again

So how was your Thursday night? Mine was great, you know the usual, helping the kids with homework, throwing in a load of laundry, Panchero’s for dinner, oh, AND BEING FRONT ROW FOR A KENNY CHESNEY CONCERT! I regret to inform you that that right there, the overuse of the cap locks and the exclamation point? Get used to it. It’s here for the long haul. Also, this is going to be a long post so grab a cup of coffee (or medicinal brandy, I’m not here to judge), crank up some “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy” or “Boys of Fall” or other such Kenny Chesney treasures, and get comfortable. Because there is just no way the events of yester eve can be summarized in a reasonable amount of space and without the use of numerous capital letters and exclamation points.

As you may recall, Kenny and I had a brief disruption in our otherwise harmonious long time love affair when he got a little greedy a few years back. But I straightened him out and we made up, however we haven’t seen each other since then , 2 years ago. He took a break from touring and I focused on raising kids and calves. So when we got word that he was coming back to town we were overjoyed. And when we heard that one of Annette and I’s top 5, Mr. Billy Currington was opening for him, well let’s just say our excitement was insurmountable. Annette and I, along with our other friend and coworker Kathy, strategized and bought our tickets so as to get the best seating possible. And then we focused all our energy on winning one of the radio contests to get within the first 5 rows. Every morning there was a song scramble and we would rush to figure it out and then frantically dial and hit redial trying to get thru to the radio station. I got thru a few times but was always the wrong caller number. We had all 3 resigned to the fact that we’d just have to be happy with our purchased seats, which weren’t terrible by any means, but they weren’t within touching distance, because we didn’t think there was any way we were ever going to get thru to the radio station to win the contest. On the last morning of the contest, they were giving away front row tickets. They played the song scramble ahead of time so people would have time to figure it out. I knew it instantly and pulled over on the side of the road to write it down. As soon as Kathy and Annette got into work that morning I gave them the list of song titles and we all got ready to dial in until our fingers bled. When they finally played the song scramble and then said, “Can you solve the Kenny song scramble? If so, be caller 10 RIGHT NOW!” Oh the anxiety, the sweat, the tears, the shaking as we dialed and dialed and dialed until……KATHY GOT THRU! (and nearly hyperventilated). Of course she got the songs right because if there’s one thing I know, it’s Kenny Chesney songs, and just like that FRONT ROW TICKETS.

I don’t even know how to put into words our feelings of elation and near stroke like reactions when we found our seats at the arena last night and just as promised they were FRONT ROW. Not just front row but approximately 8 inches from the stage. The very stage that these stars that we'd only seen afar, on CD covers and CMT, would be gracing. 

*The first order of business when we found our seats was to befriend the Security Guard who was stationed in front of the stage, that we would be standing 8 inches from the whole night. We quickly won him over when we assured him that the only trouble he would have from us would be me possibly passing out from pure exhilaration at the sight of Billy and/or Kenny that close to me. And then let him know that should that happen, I was not to be removed, no paramedics should be called, because I did not want to miss a thing. He was most agreeable and I kid you not, at some of the more exciting and pass out worthy moments during the night I found him looking at me to make sure I was still upright and conscious.  It helped that for the first time in my concert going history, the people in the area we were in were not pushy or overly intoxicated or obnoxious.  I think they were probably just in as much shock as we were to be in the front row. 

*The first act was Uncle Kracker. 

He was fabulous and his set allowed me the time to get the settings on my camera just right for the next act which was......

*Billy Currington!  Fact:  I want to marry Billy Currington, in addition to GI Joe of course. You know like “Sister Wives”? But instead TLC could have a show about our happy family called “Brother Husbands”. I think that’s a winning idea. And don’t worry about GI Joe, he’s fully aware and has even held my purse for me while Annette and I rushed the stage to be closer to Billy. He’s an awesome husband #1 like that.  I just really love me some Billy Currington, oh and his songs are great too.  I don't know what it is about him but when he takes the stage, my heart pounds irregularly, my face gets flushed and I may or may not have to start taking off layers of clothing because I get all hot and stuff.  :)  TMI?  Oh well.  It happens to Annette too, so it's a proven fact that Billy has that effect on people.  He's just a beautiful human being.  See..

Is it just me or is hot in here?  ;)

Listen, I don't mean to brag but Billy lovingly touched my hand, sang to me, and waved to me. I can't say for sure but I may have blown him a kiss and when I did he smiled and waved at me.  I know what you're thinking, oh sure PP, but seriously.  The people around us kept saying, "DID YOU SEE THAT?!?  HE JUST WAVED TO YOU!!   DO YOU KNOW HIM?!?"  Kathy turned around and very matter of factly told them, "He probably recognizes her from the Christmas Card."  Fun fact:  A few years ago, we sent a photo Christmas card of 4 of us country music loving girls to our favorite stars, not to their fan club, not to their manager, but to their HOMES and if they were married addressed the cards to them and their spouse and also included kids' names.  I'm certain we hung on a good many country stars' fridges during the holidays and maybe a few police blotter lists as potential stalkers.  Don't ask how we got their home addresses, let's just say I have my ways. 
So anyway, Billy obviously recognized me from the Christmas card that is still probably hanging on his fridge and also from the time Annette and I actually met him and told him we would like to be in charge of his fan club.  

I think it's pretty obvious who he's singing to, no?

Ahh Billy...... 
*Billy was amazing and beautiful and by the time it was over, I had a text from our friend Doug who was also at the concert asking me if I needed a carton of cigarettes.  The answer was yes, and a defibrillator.  I died.

*After Billy played and they were setting up the stage for Kenny, I decided to sit down, you know, to recover.  Except that I forgot that the chairs folded up if no one was sitting in them so when I went to sit down guess what?  I ended up arms flailing and booty on the  floor.  I am so smooth.  We laughed hysterically and the people around us asked me if I was drunk already.  Nope, just high on Billy life, and uncoordinated.

*Then it was time for Kenny.  Oh Kenny.  I cannot adequately put into words what happened to that arena when the curtain dropped and he was center stage.  It was magic.  He is so full of energy and knows how to get the crowd going.  He's just, dare I say, electric?  There were many people in that arena who weren't even fans of country music but after seeing Kenny perform he made them into believers.  The boy can entertain. 

And he's apparently flexible because I don't know about you but if I dropped to this position while singing it's no certainty that I would pop back up like he did. 

*Kenny Chesney is so little and adorable and I want to snatch him up and put him in my pocket. I’ve always known he was little, as in shorter than the average guy and just smaller in stature but until I was 6 inches from him I had no idea just how little he was. We were fairly certain that the 8th grader sitting down the row from us in her size 0 jeans wore the same size as Kenny. But while he may have a 26 inch waist he makes up the inches in his biceps..holy mother of Moses. Our tickets didn’t say gun show but wow, you go Kenny.

Size 0 am I right? 

Doesn't this picture make Kenny look tall?

*You guys? KENNY CHESNEY AND I SHARED DNA. I know, I know, this is kind of a personal thing to be announcing on my blog for the world to see given that I’m happily married (twice…see above) but it’s true. Kenny dripped sweat on me. At first I was a little grossed out but then I realized that his sweat had just mixed with my sweat and that it was actually a beautiful thing. It also occurred to me that using the CSI kit Ryder got for Christmas I could swab my arm for Kenny’s DNA and then send it into one of those mail order places in the back of Cosmo to have it cloned. S-uh-WEET!

Moments after our DNA sharing...

*If I ever have another child which could happen, you know since the DNA sharing and all, I will name him or her Chesney. And here’s why besides that I think it would be a cool name. Not only do I love Kenny Chesney but his songs are basically the soundtrack of my life. As he played…for 2 hours and 15 minutes…every song reminded me of a time or place or memory from my life and THAT my friends, is what I love about country music and in particular Kenny Chesney. For example, “The Good Stuff” has a line about “eating burnt suppers the whole first year (of marriage)” and I instantly thought of GI Joe and I’s first year of wedded bliss wherein I managed to burn CHILI….IN A CROCKPOT…..5 TIMES. And just like the song says he ate it and pretended to love it while I tried to hold back tears because I was desperately trying to be a good wife and what kind of wife can’t even make her husband chili in a crockpot without burning it?!? Then there’s the songs “Young” and “I Go Back” which instantly takes me back to my junior high and high school days, especially the high school ones where I was living in our small town.  My senior year of high school was basically what country songs are written about, carefree, young love, gravel roads, country boys, and FUN.   Or “Boys of Fall” that gives me goosebumps because not only does it transport me back to senior year and watching GI Joe out on the field playing for the championship title but makes me think of my boys and their love of the game and the future as a football mom, or “No Shoes No Shirt No Problem” that I distinctly remember playing on the radio as GI Joe and I were driving thru Kansas City taking our 3 small kids on our first ever family trip to the beach in 2005.  To be clear, there's no beach in Kansas City, we were just passing through on our way to Corpus Christi, Texas.  Just thought I'd clarify in case you are as geographically challenged as I.  I  could go on and on because I’m sappy like that but for pretty much every Kenny song I could tell you a story. And I think that’s why I and so many others love him so much, because we relate.

*Towards the end of the show, an amazing thing happened....Billy joined Kenny on stage. My heart was already in a weakened state, between my rendezvous with Billy earlier and then the whole DNA sharing with Kenny, and I really thought the duet was going to be the death of me.  I mean for the love of all humanity..Kenny and BIlly sharing a stage?!?  The Security Guard was really watching me during this part and Kathy leaned over and told him, "if she's gonna pass out this would probably be it!"  You'll be relieved to know that I survived and lived to tell about it although the pictures are blurry because let's be honest, it was hard to focus.   I died a thousand deaths and still lived to blog about it.  Miraculous. 

*After the last encore was played and I put my layers of clothes back on they began cleaning off the stage we finally decided to leave and as we passed by our friend, the Security Guard, I thanked him for being so cool and doing a great job keeping our area crazy free. To which he responded, “And thank you for not passing out!” 

*On the way out....So this blonde (me) walks up to a bar (at the concert venue) and orders an empty souvenir cup.  The bartender looks at her strangely and asks her to repeat her request.  She does and tells him she doesn't want any alcohol just the cup.  He names a price and she agrees to it but as he's getting her the cup she realizes that just because she doesn't want Jack and Coke doesn't mean she can't have anything so she asks him to fill it with water.  He does and she takes her cup of water and walks off into the night to ive happily ever after with her souvenir cup.  Only later realizing that she could've just gotten a Diet Coke in her souvenir cup which would've made for a slightly less awkward conversation with the bartender.  This is not a joke although it kinda sounds like one, inspired by actual events.

*Pedometer reading=3 MILES.  Count ‘em 3 miles WITHOUT EVER MOVING MORE THAN 2 FEET!  If my daily workout plan involved singing along and dancing to live music every day for 3 miles I might actually stick to it.  This explains why I felt like I got hit by a truck on Friday.  Actually, that’s probably more attributed to us putting 3 miles on our bodies and not having anything to drink in the 4 hours we were there.  We didn’t want to get a drink because then we’d have to leave the concert later to use the bathroom so instead we got in 3 miles and a touch of dehydration.  Good thing I got a souvenir cup of water on my way out. 

It took every ounce of self restraint not to load up and drive to Omaha to see this same concert again on Saturday night.  But instead I'm just reliving it here with you and I'm still on a post concert high.  It was just amazing and every time I think about it I, as Uncle Kracker says, "smile". 

This was definitely one for the record books.   A night I'll never forget, because for those four hours, "i never wanted nothin' more."  


  1. my favorite Kenny line is "we all have a song that somehow stamped our life, takes us to another place and time"

    pretty sure that night stamped a lot of our lives cuz his songs kinda do that to ya

    im sure his DNA does too, but I will take your word for that ;-)

  2. Annette Taylor Chesney Currington AldeanMarch 30, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    OHHHHHH My Friend...what a night....love the blog, I laughed and cried...haha!! So wish I could be up front with you guys, but it was probably a good thing because I don't know if Jerry had enough bail money!